The team behind Jenna’s Asian Kitchen is opening its own Chinese-American delivery food service with Tso Delivery starting today. The main purpose is to offer quality Asian food with an easy-to-use platform, servicing Central and East Austin.
Tso Delivery sees itself as being different from the other delivery services, like Favor, Postmates, and UberEats, because those have “inefficiencies in delivery logistics” which “have cost restaurants from executing orders with speed, efficiency, and quality,” according to the team.
Tso aims to “deliver delicious food in an efficient way that makes the restaurant happy with what they’re doing,” said Eunice Tsang, a member of the head Tso team, “and how they’re treating their employees, while also executing great service for the consumer.” They were inspired by chef David Chang's delivery-only restaurant in New York, Ando.
To solve those problems, Tso’s ordering platform doesn’t include delivery fees or tips (usually, the restaurant staff doesn’t receive tips from those other services), employees are paid fair wages, and staffers will be given company cars for deliveries instead of having to use their own. “Good tech isn’t fancy, it just makes it easy,” said Gavin Booth, another Tso teammember.
Originally, Tso Delivery was pegged to open as a dark kitchen, focusing solely on delivery and catering services. But when they looked at Domino’s Pizza’s model, they realized that takeout is an important facet of the delivery business. In that stead, there is a central location and kitchen found at 3909 I-35, in an old Pizza Patron. It will be open for takeout orders as well.
Then, there’s the food. “How can we make the Asian food scene better?” asked Tsang. That meant using recipes from executive chef Jenna Choe, who runs the kitchen at her namesake restaurant near Anderson Mill.
The menu “has to be deliverable,” Tsang, “and it also has to be something that people are familiar with, because they’re not sitting in the restaurant seeing the next table order it.”
This means tried and true dishes, like General Tso’s Chicken, orange peel beef, honey walnut shrimp, blue crab rangoons, and more. There are gluten-free and vegetarian dishes as well.
While desserts remain classic for now — Japanese cheesecake, almond cookies, sesame balls — they’re toying with adding dessert wontons made with Reese’s Pieces or egg rolls filled with peanut butter, Nutella, or apple pie. Meals will end with custom fortune cookies. Drinks will include sodas, iced teas, and canned green tea. It might eventually include bubble tea in the future.
Main entrees range between $9 to $12 with sides between $2 and $6. Delivery service is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. The current delivery area spans East Austin, downtown, Cherrywood, Mueller, Windsor Park, and the rest of Central East Austin, as seen with the map above.
Based on Tso Delivery’s reception and the data it will collect, it will eventually expand in terms of locations and coverage. They also want to grow the delivery platform service so other restaurants can fold delivery into their services. This way, those chefs that don’t have a full kitchen/restaurant would be able to share their food.
Rounding out the team are Jenna’s husband and partner Min Choe, Gabe Ahn, and Angell Tsang. “We’re not revolutionizing anything,” Booth said, “we’re just trying to do classic Chinese-American food way better.”